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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Basic Biittner : Going, going ...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Every generation sees new products and items introduced, just as each generation sees products and items seem to vanish. The latter is sometimes a gradual process - in fact, it seems that one day the realization hits you -"Hey, whatever happened to ...?"

I've been going through some of those realizations lately, and I'm sure it has nothing to do with my age. (ah, denial - the greatest defense mechanism of all time!) As in generations past, the "Baby Boomer" generation, to which I belong, has seen many changes in our world and changes continue. Today's hot item is tomorrow's "whatever happened to?"

Anyway, as it's time to come up with something for a column again, I've decided to share some of the things that I remember from "days gone by" which seem to have either vanished from today's world, or seem to be on the "fast track" to becoming a vaguely remembered item from the past.

Where to start?

How about technology, which seems to change about every - oh I don't know - 15 minutes or so?


party-line telephones, landline phones without dials or push buttons ("Hello, Mabel? Can you get me ...?" (telephone number or even the name of the party you're trying to reach);


landline phones, "non- Smart" cell phones.


Manual typewriters

Almost gone

Electric typewriters


Apple II and other early model desk top computers;


all desk top personal computers


Cameras with "flashbar" attachments

Almost gone

Cameras which use 35 mm film, which needs to be developed;

35 mm film itself.


Pocket watches




watches and clocks which show time "the old-fashioned way" (i.e., with a 12-3-6-9 "clock face")

How about home entertainment?


16. 45 and 78 rpm records; 8 track tapes; Black & white television sets; Betamax videotapes; Reel-to-reel tapes

Almost Gone

33 1/3 rpm records (though they periodically return); pre-recorded cassette tapes; television sets with smaller than 32" screens; rooftop antennas for over-the-air TV reception

In danger

Compact discs; DVDs; non-HD television sets; coaxial cable TV.

And finally, in the category of clothing styles:

I could say that clothing trends such as bloomers, Bermuda shorts, dickies, Madras. tie-dye. et al are gone, but one thing about clothing styles - everything eventually seems to come back into style. "Everything old is new again," as the saying goes.

So who knows???

Dan Whitney
Basic Biittner